Buenos Aires Real Estate

Buenos Aires real estate activity was down for the fourth consecutive month but total value of closings rose.

Government-imposed currency controls continued to have their cooling effect on real estate activity in the City of Buenos Aires, as property transactions were down for the fourth consecutive month in Capital Federal. The new data from the BA Notary College shows 4,661 closings in the month of April, a 4.8% decrease compared to April 2011, according to Clarin’s Natalia Muscatelli.

While the number of deals fell, the total dollar value of propiedades porteñas changing hands actually rose 17% in peso terms. Beyond the currency controls, the Buenos Aires Real Estate Chamber’s Nestor Walenten blamed a general slowdown in the local economy across various sectors including construction which saw 34% fewer permits being issued in the first quarter.

A breakdown of the April numbers by price shows almost 4 out of 10 purchases were for Buenos Aires properties priced below US$60,000, while units priced above US$200,000 accounted for 8% of all sales. The remaining 43% of properties fell somewhere in between $60,000 and $200,000 with $109,417 being the average price of properties sold in Buenos Aires last month.

While real estate activity is off to a slower start in 2012, it is worth remembering that 2011 also began with monthly declines in March and April closings before rebounding almost 7% in May. With the currency controls tamping down activity in 2012, the willingness of more developers to accept payments in pesos will factor heavily into any chance for a strong rebound in activity this year. (Full Story in Spanish)

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